More Qantas executive changes this morning…and potentially more at its eagerly anticipated AGM?

Nick Sundich Nick Sundich, October 16, 2023

More Qantas executive changes were announced this morning. And there could be more to come as the company seeks to rebuild its reputation.

 

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Qantas executive changes

Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth, will depart the business in February 2024. Her departure is noteworthy because she was seen as one of two candidates to succeed Alan Joyce and also because of how significant the Loyalty business has been to Australia’s flag carrier. Also departing was the CEO of QantasLink John Gissing, who has been with the company nearly 25 years.

It also announced the hiring of a handful of new executives – the most notable was the appointment of Catherine Walsh as Chief People Officer. And being promoted to new CEO of Qantas Domestic was Chief Customer Officer Markus Svensson.

 

More movements to come at the board level?

The company is holding its AGM next week and to say it will be interesting will be an understatement. Michael LÉstrange will be retiring at the AGM and Maxine Brenner and Jacqueline Hey will depart in February 2024. And Richard Goyder has promised to step away in November next year.

Former American Airlines executive Doug Parker and Heather Smith have been put forward but need approval at the AGM. Belinda Hutchinson and Todd Sampson are up for re-election. Normally the election of board directors is a box-checking exercise at AGMs. But with the issues the company has been facing – the ACCC and legal penalties, reputational baggage and industry headwinds – it may not be so this time around.

 

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